Nancy Pelosi's office just announced that Democrats will participate in the House Select Committee on Benghazi and that she's appointed Elijah Cummings, Adam Smith, Adam Schiff, Linda Sánchez, and Tammy Duckworth to be committee members.
I continue to believe this is an error. Democrats should take a page from the Mitch McConnell playbook and boycott the committee, to impress upon the press and the public that the entire undertaking is flawed.
But many Democrats felt that their absence would amount to unilateral disarmament, and allow Republicans to inject false or decontextualized stories into the news stream without fear of reprisal. My suspicion is that they will do this anyhow and the presence of Democrats on the committee will only lend GOP leaks more credibility among reporters. If boycotting the committee were unwise politics for Democrats, Republicans wouldn't have waited around, coaxing them to join.
It's not the biggest deal in the world. I suppose if the GOP steers the committee entirely off the rails, Dems can just begin the boycott later. But the idea that their very presence will amount to a check on overreach strikes me as oddly blind to the events of the past year and a half.
Brian Beutler is a senior editor at The New Republic.